Fulham 2-2 Charlton Athletic
Fulham 2-2 Charlton Athletic

Charlton drew a pulsating match with Fulham 2-2 at Craven Cottage on Saturday, and were perhaps a tad unlucky not to take all three points.

Aleksander Mitrovic’s goal looked suspiciously offside, but Fulham did hit the bar three times during the afternoon, and forced Dillon Phillips to make some superb‎ stops late on.

Lee Bowyer deployed Chris Solly and Jake Forster-Caskey as wing-backs, with Tom Lockyer, Jason Pearce and Naby Sarr in central defence. 

Darren Pratley, Josh Cullen, Conor Gallagher and Jonny Williams were in midfield, though Williams tucked in just behind lone striker, Macauley Bonne. 

The shape  – in part at least – was probably adopted to counter Fulham’s trendy 3-6-1 formation which Scott Parker favours.

The‎ two teams slugged it out like two prize fighters all afternoon, with the Addicks having the better of the first-half.

Bowyer’s side took a deserved lead four minutes before the break.‎ Forster-Caskey pinged an inch perfect cross field ball to Solly. Solly’s cushion header fell perfectly for Gallagher to sweep home.

Then there were three goals in seven minutes‎ early in the second-half.
First, ‎Ivan Cavaleiro drove in from the right and unleashed a thunderbolt that gave Phillips no chance.

Parity lasted little more than a minute. A Charlton corner was cleared to Pratley , who dinked the ball back in for Bonne to loop a header home.
Finally, Mitrovic slotted home from what looked like an offside position,after Phillips had made a good save‎.

Fulham went on to hit the bar a couple of times, but it would have been cruel if the Addicks had come away empty handed from the game.
Sky viewers were treated to a cracking local derby, and Bowyer was understandably proud of his players:

“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with Fulham, Leeds and Swansea in one week and we’ve been OK.

“It doesn’t surprise me because I believe in the players I have. I know they’ll give me 100 percent every time and I know they can play football.

“We’ve just come up and I was hoping that teams would underestimate us a bit and that’s what’s happening.”

Charlton: Phillips; Solly, Lockyer, Pearce, Sarr, Forster-Caskey (Field, 89); Pratley, Cullen, Gallagher, Williams (Leko 64); Bonne (Matthews 90).

Subs (not used): Amos, Oshilaja, Field, Lapslie, Oztumer.‎

Goals: Gallagher 4, Bonne 57.‎

Booked: Gallagher 30 (foul ). ‎

Fulham: Bettinelli; Ream, Mawson, Johansen (Onomah, 87); Cairney, Arter (Reed 46), Cavaleiro, Bryan, Knockaert, Sessegnon (Decordova-Reid 46); Mitrovic.‎

Subs (not used): Rodak, Odoi, Le Marchand, Kamara.

Goals: Cavaleiro 55, Mitrovic 63.‎

Booked: Bryan 8 (foul), Mitrovic 78 (foul)‎,‎

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).‎

Attn: 18,654 (1,970 Charlton)‎.